Project Fan Boy Reviews

Sebastien Piccione July 15th, 2009

cover1Title: Rostam: Tales of the Shahnameh #1 The Story of Rostam and Sohrab

Publisher Name: Hyperwerks

Writer: Bruce Bahamani

Art: Karl Alstaetter

$5.95, 32 pages, Color

Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publishers Blurb: Book 1 Rostam: tales of the Shahnameh chronicles the popular Rostam and Sohrab story as told in the epic poem The Shahnameh (Book of Kings) by the famed Persian poet Ferdowsi.

32 pages. ISBN-10: 0-9770213-1-9

Reviewer Comments: (Sebastian Piccione)

Ok, I’ll admit, I’m biased. I’m a HUGE mythology buff, and the idea of reading a Persian myth I was unfamiliar with really appealed to me! So kudos right there, just for the idea. The book itself does not disappoint. Sure there is a touch of choppiness to the pacing, but I think that has more to do with trying to adapt an excerpt from an Epic Poem into a 32 page comic than anything else. The story, like any good heroic myth, is tragic. The meeting of two opponents, neither aware that they are also father and son. Bahmani does a good job of bringing the characters to life and making you feel for them. All the elements are there, the proud and noble warrior, the headstrong son, the petty and arrogant king. Good stuff. Alstaetter’s art is excellent, in that early image way. He handles the backgrounds, the architecture, and the elaborate costumes extremely well. While his facial expressions are great, he is a bit limited in his mouth construction. Everyone has three mouth poses, closed, gritted teeth, or gaping shout. But that’s a small thing. Jose Campos’ colors are magnificent, adding depth and layers that really make the art pop. If you like adventure, myth, and fantasy with an old world flare, I’d say check this one out.

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Title: Rostam: Return of the Kingcover2

Publisher Name: Hyperwerks

Writer: Robert Napton

Art: Karl Alstaetter

$5.95, 32 pages, Color

Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publishers Blurb: Book 2 Rostam: Return of the King. The comic book adaptation of the classic Persian tale. Story of Kai-Kavous and Soudabeh adapted from the original epic poem The Shahnameh, by Ferdowsi.

32 pages ISBN 10: 0-9770213-2-7

Reviewer Comments: (Sebastian Piccione)

Another adaption from the Persian epic poem, this issue blew the first one out of the water. The story of how the king of Iran met and won his beautiful and clever wife, this makes for some really good reading. Robert Napton must have had an easier time converting poetry to panels, because gone is that sense of choppiness from the first issue. This story flows smoothly, like…well, like poetry. Karl Alstaetter’s artwork is gorgeous. The mouths are more mobile, people smile more in this issue, and the eyes are super expressive. The first splash page of young King Kai-Kavous, sitting bored upon his throne is gorgeous. The detail is amazing. Mike Garcia’s colors are bit darker and at times murkier, than Campos’ were, but he manages a very solid, almost sculpted feel to some of the figures. Love, war, and betrayal, all the elements of a good mythic adventure come together for this adaption. Definitely worth the look.

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